Students Take Auto Interior Design Into Their Own Hands

Penton's WardsAuto and College for Creative Studies to Unveil Finalist Designs in Student Competition on April 17 at SAE World Congress

Mar 25, 2013, 10:00 ET from Penton

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- How can vehicles meant for families be designed and manufactured to make them a better fit for a growing family's tight budget? 

This is the challenge being posed to College for Creative Studies (CCS) students participating in the fourth annual "WardsAuto Interiors Student Design Competition" sponsored by International Automotive Components (IAC) and Lear, with support from SAE International.

The competition criteria asks students to envision a new vehicle interior that integrates the comfort and family-friendly features of large vehicles such as minivans and SUVs into a sedan or hatchback. Students are also encouraged to consider the "lightweighting" trend in auto design and engineering by selecting materials and features to help reduce weight and make overall design choices that achieve this vital automaker objective.

This exclusive WardsAuto initiative reflects Penton's company-wide commitment to promote professional education and workforce development as cornerstones of competitive industrial markets.

Designs for the competition will be on display at the SAE World Congress (April 16-18, Cobo Center, Detroit, MI) in Ward's booth M-1307. Finalists will be unveiled during a ceremony at the Ward's booth on Wednesday, April 17 at 4:30 pm. The finalists will then be honored at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference (May 22, 2013, The Henry Hotel, Dearborn, MI), where the grand prize winner will be announced, along with recipients of special awards from IAC and Lear.

The Lear Innovation Award will be awarded to the student whose work includes a specific design or technological innovation the judges deem particularly creative and forward-thinking. The IAC EcoBlend Award will go to the student whose design or concept best embraces green mobility or utilizes lightweight renewable/recyclable materials and other Earth-friendly innovations.

"We're proud to be involved in the development of tomorrow's designers," said Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of WardsAuto World. "Design students are so full of fresh ideas, and it's rewarding to help them focus those creative energies on solving challenges facing auto makers. In fact, students from our last several competitions caught the attention of OEMs and suppliers through their work for this contest, and were hired because of their designs."

The student entries can be seen at Finalists will be posted to the site following the April 17 unveiling, and the winners will be celebrated online following the May 22 WardsAuto Interiors Conference.

About Ward's Automotive Group
Ward's Automotive Group is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data, and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 80 years. WardsAuto World is a monthly magazine serving automotive professionals. is an online subscription service delivering virtually all the industry news, data, and analysis compiled by WardsAuto. Other products include the weekly industry newsletter Ward's Automotive Reports, the monthly magazine WardsAuto Dealer Business, and a wealth of information services including reference annuals, online databases, and customized data reports. WardsAuto is a Penton business.

About Penton
For millions of business owners and decision-makers, Penton makes the difference every day. We engage our professional users by providing actionable ideas and insights, data and workflow tools, community and networking, both in person and virtually, all with deep relevance to their specific industries. We then activate this engagement by connecting users with tens of thousands of targeted providers of products and services to help drive business growth. Learn more about our company at

Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP.

About the College for Creative Studies
College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an integrated learning community located in Detroit. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. CCS also offers visual art opportunities for learners of all ages through its Community Arts Partnerships and Continuing Education programs. The Advancing the Creative Spirit campaign enables CCS to provide a world-class art and design curriculum and innovative programming. The $55 million campaign has raised more than $45 million to date, and the College is working hard to keep its promise to the community. For more information, visit

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